WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) repeated urging to fully fund decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) operations at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, the Senate Appropriations Committee announced that the short-term continuing resolution to fund the government through Dec. 11 will allow the Department of Energy to continue cleanup projects, including D&D operations at Piketon. Just last month after WARN notices were issued at the plant due to a budget shortfall, Brown wrote to Senate appropriators urging their attention to the matter.
“It is good news for the Piketon community and workers at the plant that the Senate Appropriations Committee is doing right by workers at Piketon,” said Brown. “Continuing D&D operations at Piketon is vital to southeast Ohio’s economy and to local jobs. This flexibility will ensure that the plant can continue making progress on its cleanup efforts. I will continue to work with appropriators to ensure that Piketon is fully funded come December.”
Since WARN notices were issued at the Piketon plant, Brown has continued his push to find funding for the project. Last month, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) – which oversees D&D projects – announced that a budget shortfall in fiscal year 2016 appropriations for the project at Piketon will result in layoffs at the facility. Brown immediately sent a letter to leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee requesting that funds be appropriated to continue the current pace of D&D efforts at Portsmouth for the entire 2016 fiscal year – either through the direct appropriation of $275 million or through another year-long budget anomaly.
Brown has also spoken to and written U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Shaun Donovan urging continued investment in the decontamination and decommissioning of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon.
Brown has repeatedly called on the Obama Administration and Senate Appropriators to fully fund the cleanup of the plant and continued operation of the American Centrifuge Project. In March, Brown wrote to leaders of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee requesting full funding of the cleanup site. In January, he wrote to OMB Director Donovan requesting full funding for the project in President’s FY 2016 budget. In December 2014, Brown helped avert layoffs at the facility and secured more than $200 million in direct funding to continue cleanup efforts as part of the FY15 omnibus appropriations bill.